Boy of my heart

ImageI don’t write about my son very often. Where my daughter takes center stage (she demands it), my son prefers to run under the radar. He has a sharp wit, a sly smile, and a spectacular capacity for logical debate. And he’s really, really funny. He gets it.

The best part is that today is his day.

Fourteen years ago, this boy’s arrival transformed me into a mother, and I’m so glad he did. I’ve gotten to watch him grow and mature, moving from crawling to walking to running–literally. This past year, I’ve watched this boy of my heart realize the physical and mental benefits of physical activity.

Through running and wrestling, this boy has opened up and blossomed. He is more confident. He smiles more. He feels better. He’s doing better in school. He has swagger. He has become a leader.

He’s a great kid, my son. I can’t wait to see what he does next.

Happy birthday, Bub.  You’re the boy of my heart.

Taking time

I dropped my daughter off at camp today, which is located about 35 miles north of where I live. Since I work about 35 miles south of where I live, camp day always means a lot of driving. Every year I feel rushed and guilty for arriving late on the job, so by the time I reach the car after I’ve made up my daughter’s bunk and said my good-byes, I have one thing on my mind: getting to work as fast as I can.

Today also happens to be my grandmother’s ninety-eighth birthday. That’s right, she’s 98. She also lives about 15 miles from the camp, in a little town that lies squarely in my trajectory to work. Even so, I was prepared to let passing through the town serve as a reminder to call her to express my love and birthday greetings.

As I reached the town’s edge, I found myself thinking of a friend who very recently lost his mother. Late or not, I couldn’t squander an opportunity to tell my grandmother I love her. Instead of continuing doggedly down the highway, I turned my car into the parking lot of a floral shop and bought my grandma a bouquet of summer flowers. Then I headed to her apartment and gave her a hug.

I’m glad I took the time.

Happy birthday, grandma.


Eleven years ago today, my life changed dramatically. My daughter came into my life with pomp and circumstance, marching straight to center stage without hesitation. From the very first day, she was self-aware and purposeful. She has always known what she wants and goes after it immediately–even if that changes next week.

The path to her goals is littered with people she has left smiling, better for having known her–not for simply the act of knowing her, but because she never hesitates to stop and help. She pours out love and care on everyone around her and her well never dries. Without even trying, she leaves everyone glittering with her sparkle.

I’m in awe of this girl who is at once smart and kind and thoughtful and creative and confident and sensitive–all with a panache like I’ve never seen elsewhere. I wish I could claim those traits came from me, but they are all her own.

Happy birthday, Kara. You’re the girl I always dreamed to be.